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A Second Suspect Arrested in UNC Student Killing; New Pocketbook Problems

Aired March 13, 2008 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Thursday, March 13th. Here's what's on the rundown.

A second suspect in custody this hour in North Carolina. Two young men accused in the killing of UNC student body president Eve Carson.

An unusual day for the leading presidential candidates. Off the trail and on the job?

COLLINS: The dollar grows weaker. The foreclosure stampede gets stronger. Stocks sink again. New pocketbook problems in the NEWSROOM.

Unfolding this hour a second person in custody this morning in the murder of the student body president at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 17-year-old Lawrence Alvin Lovett arrested in neighboring Durham. Police say Lovett walked out of a house after holding off heavily armed officers for four hours.

Police arrested the other suspect, 21-year-old Demario Atwater, yesterday at another Durham home. Both are now charged with first- degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Eve Carson. She was found shot to death lying in a street about a mile from campus on March 5th.

Joining us now on the phone with more information on the arrest and the investigation in the UNC killing, Adam Rhew of Chapel Hill radio station WCHL 1360 A.M.

Adam, tell us what you know at this point about how police apprehended, most importantly the second suspect, but the both of them. I understand that there were several tips coming in from the community?

ADAM RHEW, REPORTER, WCHL: That's right, Heidi. We understand that police were working all day throughout the day yesterday to apprehend the second suspect, Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr. They were working several operations in Durham throughout the city of Durham yesterday. They raided several houses and finally early this morning, they were able to track down Lovett at a house and when he came outside S.W.A.T. officers took him into custody. That was about 4:30 this morning. The tip that led to the arrest of the first suspect, Demario Atwater, did come in over the Crimestoppers' line. Somebody called in with some information that tipped police off to his location. They arrested him about 5:00 a.m. yesterday and charged him, had him in court yesterday afternoon.

COLLINS: All right. So a lot of these tips, as you said, coming in from the community. You have to wonder what the community is thinking now. I mean, this was a very frightening thing, obviously, very tragic as well. People afraid or they're feeling good now that these two men are in custody? .

RHEW: I think there's an enormous sense of relief in this community that these two men are now in custody. Students are still on spring break. And so no doubt, they're processing these arrests wherever they are. But I think that this is the first step in the healing process for a lot of students. They've been searching for answers for the last week, trying to kind of figure out who to point the finger at, looking for a motive. And I think these arrests will really start to help this community get on the road to healing.

COLLINS: Yes. Obviously, going to take some time. All right. We'll be following this story, of course, throughout the morning here on CNN.

Adam Rhew with WCHL Radio. Thanks so much, Adam.

HARRIS: OK, now to "Your Money," gas prices are up, the dollar is down, and minutes ago more dismal news about how much we're buying and how many of us are losing our homes.

What does this all mean?

All hands on deck this morning. CNN's Ali Velshi keeping watch from New York.

Ali, great to see you.

And Gerri Willis has the latest on foreclosure filings.

Ali, let's start with you. Do want to start with the retail numbers? But I see the barrel right there.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's get this on the way because we got it. $110.70 is where oil hit this morning, and of course, that means -- that translates at the gas prices. We've seen these increases every day and the oil prices, so there's actually a lag in what gas is costing but the last number that we have from AAA, a gallon of gas national average, $3.27. So that's a story everybody already knows.

So I move on to what know about this morning. That is the receipt sales numbers...

HARRIS: OK. VELSHI: ...for the month of February. The government just brought those numbers in. They were down 0.6 percent. The expectation was that they would be down 0.2 percent. So this is three times as bad as what was expected. Again, no surprise when you pay this kind of prices for gas.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

VELSHI: , something else suffers. So now we've got that, we've got the dollar, lower against most major currencies, lowest it's ever been against the euro, about $1.56 to buy a euro, and the lowest it's been against the yen since 1995.

That makes our ability to purchase goods from other countries weak or makes those goods cost more. That stokes inflation. So think about this. You got your oil prices, which goes into everything we buy.


VELSHI: Plus the money we spend. That's higher. We know our wheat prices, our milk prices, all of that are higher. Now everything we buy from other countries, which is 80 percent of what we buy in the United States, is higher. That all spells inflation and for now that spell as a weak opening in the stock market because investors are again worried about this downturn in the economy.

HARRIS: That was my follow-up, whether all this would portend a weak open and you suggested that it probably will.


HARRIS: All right, Ali. Appreciate it. Thank you.

And let's turn to Gerri Willis now.

Gerri, foreclosures down 4 percent from January to February. I would like to think this is good news, but the numbers overall are pretty...


HARRIS:, outsize to say the least.

WILLIS: Hey there, Tony. Yes, the numbers are grim. For February, foreclosures down 60 percent year over year - pardon me. up 60 percent year over year, a huge increase, almost a quarter of a million people out there losing their homes, in default on their mortgages. You know what this means. Folks in real trouble out there trying to find other accommodations and prices in those neighborhoods going down.

Now, let's take look for just a second at some of the states where the pain is the deepest, starting with Nevada at the top of the list. One in every 165 homes, in foreclosure, Tony, believe that or not. California, one in every 242 homes. So you see, it's a real issue out there.

Now you can see that these states in particular are the states that really went up. You saw the huge price gains in the housing boom...

HARRIS: That's right.

WILLIS: the last five years. Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, those are all states that really participated in that. Not anymore. Prices are flattened down.

HARRIS: So Gerri, very quickly, and we asked you to do this for us a lot here, but if you would, give us a couple of maybe one bit of advice for folks struggling to meet their mortgages.

WILLIS: Well, you know, the typical solution is to sell your house. It's difficult in this market.


WILLIS: What can you do is, if you can find a buyer who is willing to pay something for your house and if you're in this very difficult market, you can do what they call a short sale.

Your banker may accept less than what you owe on the house. This would be great for you, if you're really trying to unload it. It's even lieu of foreclosure here. This is where you turn your keys into the bank, you give up your equity, you give up everything.

HARRIS: That's right.

WILLIS: Worst case scenario. Best case scenario loan modification. Call your banker, call your banker, call your banker, and get a new loan. That's the first thing do you if you think you're going to have trouble. You should do it even before you miss the first payment.

HARRIS: Good tips, good tips, good tips. All right. CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis.

And Gerri, I know you're back later in the program with this and our thanks to Ali Velshi as well.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

HARRIS: Hang on to your aspirin today. Wall Street, as you've just heard from Ali, expected to open sharply lower just minutes ahead. We will take you there live.

COLLINS: Sex scandal and shame. The Eliot Spitzer era comes to a humiliating end in New York. This morning, a call girl at the center of the debacle and the tough challenges for the man who inherits the governor's office.

CNN's Jason Carroll has the latest.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Eliot Spitzer's resignation comes two days after a federal affidavit revealed embarrassing details over his $4,300 encounter with a prostitute named Kristen. Her real name, according to the "New York Times" is Ashley Dupre. Her MySpace page shows a 22-year-old aspiring musician with a troubled past.

Dupre says she left a broken family, left abuse. "I have been broke and homeless, but I survived on my own."

Sources familiar with the investigation say Spitzer started using the high-priced escort service Dupre allegedly worked for called Emperors Club VIP eight months ago and met with prostitutes on at least eight different occasions.

GOV. ELIOT SPITZER (D), NEW YORK: I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. To every New Yorker and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.

CARROLL: Spitzer's fall from grace has left people shocked. For a time he was a politician on the rise.

As New York's attorney general, "TIME" magazine dubbed him "Crusader of the Year" for the way he cracked down on Wall Street corruption.

Stuart Meissner who worked for the then attorney general and remembers accolades for the promising young prosecutor.

STUART MEISSNER, FMR. ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: I think he had a lot of the courage. I think he a lot of things that many other politicians and attorney generals were reluctant to do.

CARROLL: Sources say Spitzer is being investigated for how he paid for the prostitutes. There has been speculation his attorneys are trying to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors. The U.S. attorney's office released a statement saying, "There is no agreement."


COLLINS: Jason Carroll is joining us now live from our New York bureau.

So Jason, we do expect to hear from Lieutenant Governor Paterson today. Can you walk us through how this transition is expected to take place?

CARROLL: Well, here's what's going to happen. Spitzer sent a letter to the state assembly basically saying that his resignation becomes effective at 12:00 noon on Monday, shortly thereafter, Lieutenant Governor Paterson will be sworn in and, of course, as you can imagine at this point a lot of attention now being focused on Paterson. We can tell you that he's 53 years old, and once he is sworn in, he will become the state's first black, first legally blind governor. This is a man who also has a solid reputation, Heidi. He's a man that -- he's a Democrat, but he's known as the type of man that can work both sides of the aisle with Republicans and Democrats.

He comes from a long history of a political family, and his political career has been lengthy as well. He started back in 1985. He represented Harlem in the Senate but he's really going to have his work cut out for him. He's going have to hit the ground running. A budget is due. The state is in crisis. So he really is going to have his work cut out for him -- Heidi?

COLLINS: Yes, no question about that. All right. We'll be watching very closely on Monday, of course.

Jason Carroll from our New York bureau. Thank you, Jason.

A governor says good-bye. The "New York Times" says hello to his suspected call girl, a closer look at Kristen's MySpace page, ahead right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Let's get you to Rob Marciano now for our first check of weather.

And Rob is set up because we've got all kinds of snow, in some cases record snowfall, in the Great Lakes, Green Bay, he set up all kinds of tower cams for us. And local affiliates...

COLLINS: Wow. All by himself?


COLLINS: This is awesome.

HARRIS: And local affiliates providing a helicopter view of that snowfall, i-Report, right, Rob?


HARRIS: Tired. Tired. It's carrying that whole team for all of those years on your shoulders.


MARCIANO: Quite a (INAUDIBLE), I'm sure. Congratulations.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. Good friends.

COLLINS: You guys are good friends. All right, Rob. Thank you.

HARRIS: How about this? A flip, dock then straight to work for the Endeavour crew, the shuttle arriving at the International Space Station early today. Before docking -- man, this is quite a maneuver here -- the shuttle did a back flip so the space station could take photos of Endeavor's belly. NASA will check those images to see if it the shuttle was damaged during Tuesday's launch.

The astronauts immediate began unloading parts for their next huge project, building a new crew member, so to speak. A giant robot that will help space walks. Tonight astronauts perform the first of five space walks planned for their 60-day mission.

COLLINS: An aspirin a day could help keep asthma away. Our Dr. Gupta explains how in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: And good morning again, everyone. You are in the NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

Removing herself from the race because of an issue of race. A respective Clinton fundraiser resigns.


ANNOUNCER: Covering the angles, uncovering the details. See for yourself in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Well, you've heard about aspirin's heart benefit. Now research suggests regular low-dose aspirin may cut the risk of asthma in older women. The study looked at 40,000 nurses 45 years of age and up, and found among those taking aspirin a 10 percent reduction in new aspirin cases.

So what does it all mean? CNN chief medical Dr. Sanjay Gupta is live here with us now.

All right. So Sanjay, don't most folks develop asthma as children?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They do, and they -- that's the most common type. But there is something known as adult onset asthma. And obviously, it actually comes on in adults.

Now it can be difficult to treat. It can be more problematic overall for adults and something that people don't think of as well. So this is something as (INAUDIBLE) form of aspirin some good news in terms of preventing cases from ever developing -- excuse me, in the first place.

A 10 percent reduction, this was a study looking specifically at women, trying to find, could it actually reduce the risk of asthma and they found the answer was yes, irrespective of how old the woman was, if they have gone through menopause, if they were exercising or not, if they were smoking or not. They gave them a baby aspirin every other day, again, it was purely for prophylaxis.

Now it's important to point that out because aspirin given to asthmatics can sometimes be problematic. So this -- you know, preventing it in the first place is obviously the best thing.

COLLINS: Sure. GUPTA: Keep in mind, if you look at all emergency room visits, Heidi -- excuse me, a frog in my throat. About a quarter of them are due to asthma or asthma-related diseases.

COLLINS: Really?

GUPTA: And there's about 5,000 deaths every year due to asthma. So this, you know, possibly some good news for them.

COLLINS: Yes. My mom has this adult onset asthma. Didn't know about the aspirin. So this is fascinating, except it's kind of like what you just said.

We hear we should take an aspirin a day, or we say, we hear that we shouldn't take it a day. So is there a group of people that absolutely should go ahead and take this and it will give them benefit?

GUPTA: This is confusing. And it's amazing all this comes from this one particular product that is called the wonder drug. And now we have all these different uses for it. Your mom, by the way, (INAUDIBLE) should not take aspirin now because it could be more problematic if she has already developed asthma.

Take a look at some of the people who should and who should not take aspirin. People who should take aspirin, people with a history of heart attack, women older than 65 specifically and anyone who's at risk of heart disease.

Now, again, as you point out, people shouldn't take aspirin, people who have asthma already, people with bleeding disorders especially of the stomach, and kids or teens who have fever or flu- like symptoms. It can cause a thing called Rhett's syndrome which could be a problem.

COLLINS: Yes, wow. All right, well, we're sifting through all this information. Appreciate that.

GUPTA: Yes, no problem.

COLLINS: Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: All right. Thank you.

COLLINS: Thanks, Sanjay.

HARRIS: An eavesdropping bill at the center of another showdown between President Bush and Democrats in Congress. The president expected to speak any minute now.

White House correspondent Elaine Quijano joins us now live to set the stage for us.

Elaine, good morning.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Tony. Well, at heart of the matter today, retroactive liability protection, that really is the main sticking point here between President Bush and House Democrats. It's what we could expect to hear President Bush talk about here momentarily.

Now the House is expected to vote today on surveillance legislation that does not include that protection, so-called retroactive liability protection, essentially legal protection for companies that cooperated with the government surveillance efforts post-9/11.

Now the argument from some Democrats is that, look, if someone's privacy has been violated that person, an innocent person, should have the right to sue telecom companies that cooperated with the government. The president's argument is that, look, that would essentially mean that companies would not be willing to help the government conduct this very critical intelligence gathering process. The president is saying, look, this will harm the nation's intelligence gathering efforts if this protection is not included.

So that's what we're going to hear President Bush talk about here as he walks up on the south lawn here. This is an argument the president has been making now for several weeks. He is essentially locked in this fight with some House Democrats over this. So we'll take a listen here.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ...declared that they need the 21 additional days to pass legislation giving our intelligence professionals the tools they need to protect Americans. That deadline passed last Saturday without any action from the House. This week House leaders are finally bringing legislation to the floor. Unfortunately, instead of holding a vote on the good bipartisan bill that passed the United States Senate, they introduced a partisan bill that would undermine America's security.

This bill is unwise. The House leaders know that the Senate will not pass it, and even if the Senate did pass it, they know I will veto it. Yesterday the attorney general and the director of national intelligence sent a leader to the speaker explaining why the bill is dangerous to our national security. They cited a number of serious flaws in the bill, including the following.

First, the House bill could reopen dangerous intelligence gaps by putting in place a cumbersome court approval process that would make it harder to collect intelligence on foreign terrorists. This is an approach that Congress explicitly rejected last August when bipartisan majorities in both Houses passed the -- Protect America Act.

And as it approached the Senate rejected last month when it passed a new legislation to extend and strengthen the Protect America Act by an overwhelming vote of 68-29. Now House leaders are proposing to undermine this consensus. Their partisan legislation would extend protections we enjoy as Americans to foreign terrorists overseas. It would cause us to lose vital intelligence on terrorist threats and enters a risk that our country cannot afford to take.

Second, the House bill fails to provide liability protection to companies believed to have assisted in protecting our nation after the 9/11 attacks. Instead the House bill would make matters even worse by allowing litigation to continue for years. In fact, House leaders simply adopted the position that class action trial lawyers are taking in the multibillion dollar lawsuits they have filed. This litigation would undermine the private sector's willingness to cooperate with the intelligence community. Cooperation that is absolutely essential to protecting our country from harm.

This litigation would require the disclosure of state secrets that could lead to the public release of highly classified information that our enemies could use against us. And this litigation would be unfair. As any companies that assisted us after 9/11 were assured by our government that their cooperation was legal and necessary, companies that may have helped us save lives should be thanked for their patriotic service, not subjected to billion-dollar lawsuits that will make them less willing to help in the future. The House bill may good for class action trial lawyers, but it would be terrible for the United States.

Third, the House bill will establish yet another commission to examine past intelligence activities. This would be a redundant and partisan exercise that would waste our intelligence officials' time and taxpayers' money.

Bipartisan House and Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees have already held numerous oversight hearings from the government's intelligence activities. It seems that House leaders are more interested in investigating our intelligence professionals than in giving them the tools they need to protect us. Congress should stop playing politics with the past and focus on helping us prevent terrorist attacks in the future.

Members of the House should not be deceived into thinking that voting for this unacceptable legislation would somehow move the process along. Voting for this bill does not move the process along. Instead, voting for this bill would make our country less safe because it would move us further away from passing the good bipartisan Senate bill that is needed to protect America.

The American people understand the stakes in this struggle. They want their children to be safe from terror. Congress has done little in the three weeks since the last recess, and they should not leave for their Easter recess without getting the Senate bill to my desk.

Thank you.

HARRIS: All right. There you have it. Let's bring Elaine Quijano back in for just a moment.

And Elaine, it's about what we expected. What -- you set the stage for us perfectly as to what the president was going to do. Again, to challenge Congress to bring him a bill essentially asking the House to pass the Senate version of this bill so that he could sign it.

QUIJANO: And that's what we've been hearing, Tony, for weeks now essentially from this White House is that, look, House Democratic leaders really need to follow the lead of the Senate, they say, and go ahead and pass...


QUIJANO: ...the legislation that was passed by the Senate.

Now what's interesting, if you take a step back from this, Democrats have traditionally been criticized for being afraid essentially on these issues of national security, being afraid of being painted as weak on national security if they went against this White House. Now what you have, though, is House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi essentially digging in her heels, continuing to do so, refusing to allow a vote on that Senate bill that President Bush is talking about, and now not only that but also the House set to vote today on its own legislation, surveillance legislation.

Now again, this White House said, look, we essentially think this is dead on arrival, even if it does go ahead and move forward in the House, certainly the Senate is not going to follow, they feel. But nevertheless, we look at the bigger picture here. Democrats are really taking this issue and not budging essentially, which is why you are seeing President Bush come out time and time again trying to continue to apply some pressure on Democrats who are so far in the House not budging -- Tony?

HARRIS: And to the -- and to one of these larger points of the country is that the president puts forward that the country is less safe with the expiration of the bill as it stands now and the Democrats have been pushing back suggesting that, look, if the president has -- and the intelligence community has developed new information they can certainly go to the FISA court and get the action and the warrants to continue the program, and that existing cases have been grandfathered into the now expired legislation. Correct?

QUIJANO: Right. That's exactly right. And you know there's been so much back and forth and frankly it is quite confusing...


QUIJANO: ...even to people who cover this on a routine basis.

But I think what's important here, certainly is that you have seen both sides, essentially, try to ratchet up the pressure on the other.

HARRIS: That's true.

QUIJANO: You've got the president saying, look, there is the danger of these intelligence gaps. There's been a lot of back and forth. The president mentioned this letter that was put forth by the director of national intelligence and the attorney general laying out what some of the flaws in this House bill are. It isn't exactly clear to everyone what the net effect is because a lot of the information is secret.


QUIJANO: We don't know if there was intelligence that has been lost. Obviously, for obvious reasons here, there's only so much that the intelligence community can say about what they might be missing. They don't know what they might be missing. It's very confusing.


QUIJANO: But the president maintains that if there is no legal protection for companies who've already cooperated in the past, why should they do it in the future and what would that mean then for the intelligence community that is trying to go after very aggressively some of these suspected terrorists.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

QUIJANO: And again, you know, Democrats saying, look, the problem is, if you also catch innocent Americans in the dragnet, so to speak, they should have some legal recourse here -- Tony?

HARRIS: Our White House correspondent Elaine Quijano this morning.

Elaine, great to see you. Thanks.

COLLINS: OK. We want to give you some information just in to the CNN NEWSROOM now regarding the murder of Eve Carson, that UNC student -- student body president, I should say. According to our affiliate WRAL Television, one of the suspects, the one that was arrested just overnight, he surrendered about 4:30 this morning, you see his face there, Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr. Well, apparently now we are learning that he is charged in another student's death. This apparently happened in January with a Duke graduate student by the name of Abhijit Mahato. He's a 25-year-old engineering student from India.

Again, Duke grad student. This charge is going to now go to the student that we've been telling -- pardon me. The man that we've been telling you about who is now connected to the death of UNC student Eve Carson, Lawrence Alvin Lovett Jr, now charged, 17 years old, now charged in a second murder.

We'll keep our eyen on that story for you as well.

ANNOUNCER: Live in the NEWSROOM, Tony Harris and Heidi Collins.


COLLINS: Off the trail and on the hill. A battle over pet projects gets the presidential candidates back to work.


COLLINS: I want to show you this picture we are getting this morning and tell you a little about what's going on. We understand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Republican leader John Boehner, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, as well as presidential candidate Senator John McCain, are all gathering there in that room as a congressional remembrance will take place. Specifically they are there to honor the five years of service and sacrifice of our troops and their family, of course, too, in the war in Iraq, and also to remember those serving in Afghanistan and throughout the world.

So those are some of the pictures that you are seeing there. Congressional remembrance taking place today. The U.S. Capitol Rotunda building. Furthermore, we know that the candidates will be in Washington, D.C. for the day doing business there. So just wanted to let you know what we were looking at. A nice moment there at the Rotunda.

Pet projects and pork barrel politics. Today the presidential candidates are all back in Washington for a big Senate vote. A proposed one-year ban on those home-state projects. You know they're called earmarks. Republican John McCain has been a longtime critic of earmarks. He calls it wasteful and outrageous spending. Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have also recently joined the opposition. In addition to earmarks, the Senate is expected to vote on other tax-spending matters. That'll happen today.

A new proposal today from Florida Democrat scrambling to make their votes count. A memo from the Florida Democratic Party proposing redoing the primary. A combination in person and mail-in election would be held June 3rd. Florida voted in January, you may recall.

The state violated party rules by moving up its primary. The national party disqualified Florida's 210 delegates. Now Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are locked in a tight battle, and Democrats are trying to find a way to include Florida. Michigan face as similar situation.

Ferraro fallout -- a Hillary Clinton fund-raiser is leaving the campaign after her comment about Barack Obama.

CNN's Candy Crowley has the latest.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Geraldine Ferraro wants to write her own ending to this story. "Dear Hillary," she wrote, "I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign. The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you."

It was an honorary position at best, but Ferraro, a trailblazer, the first woman vice presidential candidate on a major ticket, understands politics. A clean break was needed after she said this of Obama's campaign success: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is."

Resignation in hand, or at least on her BlackBerry, Clinton said she regrets Ferraro's words, but tossed it off as just another episode of surrogates gone wild.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, one of his top advisers had to resign last week over something she said about me. So we are aware that this happens, but we're particularly sensitive to it because of the nature of this campaign and who each of us is. So we do stand against it.

CROWLEY: Obama also seems intent on lowering the decibel level.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think that there is a directive in the Clinton campaign: "Let's heighten the racial elements in the campaign." I don't think that.

CROWLEY: Race has been a slow-burning fuse beneath the Democratic candidates. Sometimes there's an explosion. Ferraro's words moved the campaign close to that danger zone again.

The initial reaction in Obamaville was to call her remarks inappropriate, offensive, divisive, part of an insidious pattern of negativity.

Camp Clinton fired back, suggesting it's the Obama campaign injecting race into the conversation with "politically calculated attacks."


CROWLEY: Before her resignation, Ferraro pushed back on ABC's "Good Morning America," accusing Obama supporters of attacking her because she's white.

FERRARO: I'm hurt, absolutely hurt by how they have taken this thing and spun it to imply that in any way -- in any way I'm a racist.

CROWLEY: Obama says nobody suggested Ferraro was a racist. Choosing words very carefully, he settled on ridiculous.

OBAMA: The notion that it is a great advantage to me to be an African-American named Barack Obama in pursuit of the presidency, I think is not -- not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public.

CROWLEY (on camera): Looking toward Pennsylvania, where white, working class voters are key, a focus on race does not help Barack Obama. But it may not help Clinton, either. Her campaign in the past has been criticized by party insiders as going too far. The same kind of party insiders who are super delegates, who may decide this race.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Chicago.


COLLINS: Tweens inhaling they're way to drug abuse and worse. The disturbing details coming up.


HARRIS: For decades now, marijuana has been called the gateway drug, a path to addiction, but parents, you, me, we, we need to know this. The drug of choice today for tweens -- are you kidding me...


HARRIS: ... children in middle school, is a lot easier to come by. Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here with information. Middle schoolers?

COHEN: Middle schoolers. We're talking 12, 13-year-olds.



And if they were to smoke pot, which was sort of the gateway drug of the past, yesterday's gateway drug, they had to actually make an effort. You know, they had to actually go buy it.

HARRIS: Absolutely, yes.

COHEN: You do not have to make an effort to get high off whipped cream. It's in the fridge. Or shoe polish.

HARRIS: I can remember these stories.

COHEN: Or shoe polish.

HARRIS: Shoe polish?

COHEN: Shoe polish, inhaling the fumes of shoe polish or spray paint, rubber cement. These are there in your house. And this is the issue that is being talked about today, that inhalants are the most commonly used drug among the 12 to 13-year-old set. Or if look at it a different way, one out of 10 eighth graders has used an inhalant.

HARRIS: So this becomes so simple. Because you know, maybe you peel off a couple of bucks with them for allowance. Hey, you got a good grade, here you go. And they can take that -- it doesn't take much to get these.

COHEN: They don't even have to buy them. And they're in the house and you can go get them, and it's just that simple. I would say I've got two out of these four products in my house. I mean, they're there. They don't have to buy them. They can use their allowance on other things.

HARRIS: On other things. So what are we to do as parents about this? This is something else to add to list of things that we have to be vigilant about?

COHEN: Right, you have to be vigilant, because this can cause liver damage, brain damage, kidney damage. I mean, this is serious stuff. And so what you as a parent need to do is you need recognize that they use these things to get high, OK? If you found pot in your kids' room you would know something was up. Absolutely. For these things you need to recognize. So you need to be smelling their clothes. If you suspect -- this is a red flag, if there collars smell like fumes there might be a reason for that. Look for paint stains, because -- we have this spray paint here, so paint is sometimes used as an inhalant. And also look for empty containers. If your finding a lot of empty whipped cream containers and you haven't had whipped cream recently with your meal, that could be a sign.

And another things you need to look for, if your kid has a whole bunch of let's say airplane glue to make model airplanes and he doesn't make model airplanes you need to question that.

HARRIS: Hello!

COHEN: Hello, right. You need to question that.

HARRIS: You know, we have been reporting recently, the last few years or so, that teen drug use is actually going down. Is that still the case?

COHEN: That is still the case when you look overall at teen drug use. However, what's about interesting inhalants is they're not going down. So that's something parents need to realize.

HARRIS: So more vigilance.

COHEN: Right.

HARRIS: More vigilance.

OK, Elizabeth, thanks for this. A wakeup call for a lot of us out there, and shoe polish, and what is it again?

COHEN: That's spray paint.

HARRIS: This is spray paint.

COHEN: Rubber cement.

HARRIS: Rubber cement and -- and, OK, all right.

Elizabeth Cohen with us this morning. Something else to add to the to-do list.

It was good to see you. Thanks.

COLLINS: A governor says goodbye. "The New York Times" says hello to his suspected call girl. Meet "Kristen," in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: "The New York Times" has revealed the woman at the center of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. CNN has not independently confirmed her identity, but our Veronica de la Cruz surfing the Web to learn more about Ashley Alexandra Dupre, AKA "Kristen."

Veronica, good morning to you.


You know, we've been looking at Dupre, who "The New York Times" is saying is "Kristen." And here's what we found on her MySpace page. She calls herself a pop, R&B and soul singer. At top of her page she's posted some of her music, a song called "What We Want." Take a listen.


DE LA CRUZ: Now flipping through her pictures, Heidi, we see her, as she says she is, quote, "passed out in Las Vegas," also vacationing in Saint-Tropez. She is currently living in Manhattan, but by reading her profile she says she's lived all over. New York by way of New Jersey, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia and Austin, Texas. On her MySpace page she says, "I live in New York and am on top of the world. Been here since 2004 and love this city. I love my life here, but my path has not been easy. When I was 17, I left home. It was my decision, and I've never looked back." She goes on to say how she's dealt with drugs, abuse and has found herself at times homeless.

COLLINS: Well, I imagine the site is getting a whole lot of attention and traffic now this morning, right?

DE LA CRUZ: Yes, you know, when I logged on this morning I would say there were probably a little less than two million hits. Now about 4.1 million.


DE LA CRUZ: I would say it's averaging about 5,000 hit as minute, Heidi.

COLLINS: Holy cow.

DE LA CRUZ: Right now looking at her page, she has about 1,800 friends, including Madonna, Whitney Houston, and then she says when it comes to her musical influences, she's listed her brother, singer Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline.

And, Heidi, not only is Web traffic growing on her MySpace page, friends have been logging on, posting notes. One of them comes from a girl calling herself "Blues Chica," and it reads, "Ash, you are famouser than the famous people on your friends list right now."

Another friend, who calls himself "Vincent," says "Sorry to hear what you're going through. I don't know why they're broadcasting your stuff all over. If it wasn't you, it would have been someone else."

So you know, what's interesting to note here, Heidi, is that she hasn't logged ton her site, but somebody's approving those messages. So you know, she's definitely checking her e-mail.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, because she's "famouser."

HARRIS: Does she have a reality show yet?

COLLINS: Well, not yet.

Veronica de la Cruz, appreciate it. Thank you.

DE LA CRUZ: Of course.

HARRIS: And still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, planes grounded, flights canceled and a record fine levied. What's next in the Southwest Airlines investigation. An update for you in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Knees, knees. Knees, knees, knees. They get us where we need to go, but as you age they start to suffer from wear and tear.

Boy, tell me about it. Here's CNN's Judy Fortin.


JUDY FORTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Patrick Avon has always been an athlete. A marathon runner and a triathlete he works out daily to keep his body in shape.

PATRICK AVON, RUNNER: I like to approach it as simply I want to use my body as if I was 15 years old again.

FORTIN: But he's not 15 anymore and after years of running, 45- year-old Avon had knee surgery, yet that didn't stop him. Five months later he ran the Marine Corps Marathon.

AVON: I recovered wicked fast.

FORTIN: Avon was lucky. He got back on track. But as we age, many parts of our body start to suffer from wear and tear, especially our knees.

DR. WIEMI DOUOGUIH, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER: Whether it's running, whether it's jumping, changing direction, because the whole trunk, hips, head, neck, upper body, it's all supported through the knee and the ankle.

FORTIN: According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, past traumas like sprains, even falls, can cause wearing away of the knee cartilage lining.

DOUOGUIH: Injuries to the ligaments, to the tendons that it can lead to osteoarthritis, which ultimately can lead to joint-replacement surgery.

FORTIN: In your 30s and 40s, doctors suggest you modify your exercise, watch how you use your body. Avoid doing the same thing over and over. Repetition can be stressful to the knees. Think about other ways to remain active and change your program.

DOUOGUIH: We commonly call that cross-training, and it's a very effective way of preventing injure. I think it's important not to overdo anything.

FORTIN: In your 50s, arthritis can become an issue, especially if the knees have taken a beating in your younger years. You could end up with knee-replacement surgery. More than 300,000 operations are performed on knees each year. But doctors shy away from replacement until patients get older.

DOUOGUIH: The longer that we can wait, the older that we can put the knee replacement in, ultimately, the better it is. The components that we put in the knee wear out. And so, ideally, we'd like to put in an implant that's going to outlast you.

FORTIN: And look for lower-impact activity. Yoga, swimming, even cycling puts less stress on the knees. Even light weight lifting can help with joints as we age. And if you're in pain, don't ignore it.

DOUOGUIH: In general, listen to your body. If it starts to hurt, back off.

FORTIN: Patrick Avon says he'll continue to do a daily routine in order to keep on the road, and even though he may face a few setbacks, he hopes he'll be running for years to come.

Judy Fortin, CNN, reporting.


COLLINS: Teen girls and sex. Researchers say one in four has a sexually transmitted disease. How did this happen, coming up in the NEWSROOM.